I just got back from the showing of The Challenge films. The Challenge is yet-another fast filmmaking project (I was having a conversation at the shoot last night and we were getting each confused between talking about The Challenge, the 48 Hour Film Project and the 72 Hour Feature Project).

The Challenge was a 62 Hour endevour, where screenwriters wrote scripts in 14 hours, production crews shot the shorts in 24 hours, and then editors edited the movies in 24 hours. An interesting twist was that many of the teams (writing, actors and production crews, and editors) were assembled randomly. And if even if you wanted to participate in all three phases of the project, as several people I know did, you still had to hand off your work at each stage to a different team. That was the weirdest part -- to try and film carefully enough that someone else could edit the footage under such time constraints (which care is probably normal good practice for shooting, but is rather different than the majority of the shooting I do for The Neutrino Project or the short I shoot and edit myself for things like the Fast Forward Film Festival or Vidiocy). Even with all my care, I got a little lecture from the editor tonight about things I could have done to make his job easier.

The actual shoot was long and tiring, but fun. We all showed up at 10 am on Saturday, I met the actors and assistant director for the first time, we got our script, and headed out to shoot. Our script called for a burly member of the cast to play a little Chinese girl, and once we had crammed him into a too-small tank top and skirt (and sometimes Depends) all we really had to do was point the camera at him and let the laughter ensue. Matt, the burly one, had also been a screenwriter for the project, so he had had no sleep and was rather loopy. Oh, and we had an 11 year-old in our cast, which kept the cursing down below the level I think we'd usually have on a shoot this time-constrained.

People kept asking me "are you always this patient?" In the morning, the answer was a puzzled "sure, shouldn't I be?" Near the end of our 10-hour shoot I had to grit my teeth to spit out "yes, yes, I'm always this patient."

In the end, our short came out fine. The editors made some different choices than I would have (I'm toying with the idea of doing an edit myself, but I'm not sure how much I care) but people laughed, so it must be all right.

Update: some behind-the-scenes photos.